I would so much like every Christian family to be a school of Christian faith: in which the Good News of God willing to serve me is passed on to the younger generations.
This was emphasized by the Head and Father of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, during the opening of the All-Ukrainian Forum of Social Service of the UGCC “Social Service of the Family” on Saturday, October 12, 2019. According to the Primate, such an event leads to reflection and action: how the Church can serve families, and how families can serve others in need.
According to him, the topics of service, charity, and love are important elements for our spirituality and for creating “vibrant” parishes.
“The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations announced this year as the Year of Family in Ukraine. The family is the primary cell of the church organism, as well as of the nation and the state,” said the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics.
“Obviously, we need to think about how to serve the family so that they can feel supported by the whole church community and be themselves. We see that the family as an institution is now under attack by various modern ideologies. And we say that because once, when the Church was persecuted, the family saved her, now we all together have to save the Christian family.”
In his speech, His Beatitude Sviatoslav referred to the parable of the merciful Samaritan, which emphasizes the need to do works of charity and assistance to our fellowmen.
The Primate stated that the essence of the Christian faith is faith in God, who comes first of all to serve us and heal the wounds of each of us. Therefore, we should serve in the same way as Heavenly Father served us. “No religion in the world has this idea of the Almighty, because in all religions of the world, God forces man to serve himself. And the Christian understanding of divine love is that Jesus Christ came to serve us,” said the bishop.
He also explained the difference between a social worker and a Christian ministry. A social worker receives money for his ministry, and a Christian does it selflessly.
“We, Christians, believe that God is coming to serve me. He gives me everything I need, but not only to live and exist, but to receive eternal life,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav. “By giving to another, you will lose nothing, and on the contrary – you will gain … Now social ministry is a type of pastoral care that the Church should exercise as a community of believers.”
We would like to add that the organizers of the event are the Department of Social Service of the UGCC together with Caritas of Ukraine and NGO “Lviv Educational Foundation.”
Photo: Roman Malko
The UGCC Department for Information